Born in 1985 into a busy African community known as the city of Warri, raised in an economically viable mobile family of ten; Toris Okotie had his pre-high school education in not less than 3 African schools and his high school education in more than 4 schools including Francis Lewis High School in NY. Inspired by the diverse experiences from socializing with people of deferent educational, social and cultural background, and reading several poetry books especially Shakespeare. The author took delight in poetic writing and sharing his experiences with others.

Poems by Toris Okotie

Africa My Africa

Toris OkotieAfrica my Africa
Africa my motherland
Mother or Fatherland
Childless you went almost
But he that intervened
The God of all nations

Africa my Africa
Mother of nations great
Nigeria in the west
Ethiopia in the east remains
With labor pangs
You brought them forth

Africa my Africa
Father of Egypt
To the north, be so planted
And Zimbabwe, the south remains
And for Africa that mothered them all

Africa my Africa
Your discovery had brought you pains
Children and grandchildren
To the great sea you lost
Continents with them were fed

Africa my Africa
In Vain labor no more
Loose a child, but to no one
Your great nations do protect
For he shall intervene
When you cry for help

Why Am I Black?

Why am I black?

Tell me,
Ten hours of hard labor,
Under the blazing sun,
Picking cotton,
No food,
Less water,
And these bruises on my back,
From the lashes of my master,
Blisters on my hands and feet,
Toiling, sweating, in the heat,
No rest for my weary soul,
And you ask me,
Why am I black?

Why am I black?
Is it the darkness of my skin?
The strength of my bones,
Or, the history of my heritage

The colonial ship landed,
Close to the equator
They meet us,
The radiating sun of Africa
Oh! I could hear voices,
Voices of children crying,
For their mother,
Their father has been taken into slavery.

Ones we were known as Africans,
They came and called us Blacks.

Why am I black?

I’m black,
Because history made me black,
Slavery made me black,
The weather made me black:
My heritage made me black.

I’m black,
Because black is who I am.

My African Child

So young in heart
He cried for milk
So poor and helpless
Mama weeps in pain

His eyes so red
A week he cried
A month ago,
To the world he came

Mama so young
Papa has run
Under the bridge
They lay their heads

In storm and rain
They search for food
Through man and sex
Mama fed him well

The days went by
Mama health decreased
Only five months old
Mama said goodbye

In rain and cold
He cried so loud
In sun and heat
He wept and wept

Three days gone by
Since mama left
And now he sleeps
To meet with mama

The Children Of Africa

The sun arise
A new day sets
Bells echo, they came;
The children of Africa

With bowls so deep
A line they form
In haste they eat
For more they ask

In tens they bathe
With clay as soap
In water so dark
Some fishes would die

To sell they left
Ten miles they walk
In sun and rain
They never would frown

To school some go
To learn to read
And write they could
To speak so well

At night they meet
For tales they tell
Both learned or not
The moon so full

Young boys and girls
Together they sit
Around the fire
The flames so huge

The crickets would scream
The birds would sing
The rhymes so sweet
That doses them off

The night too old
Their eyes would crack
To bed they go
Good night, good night

Till sun would set
This culture maintain
Like gold to treasure
The children of Africa

Africa Speaks

Hear my voice
A song of joy and sorrow
And sing with me
In bringing back my lost children

For years ago
We reign as kings and queens
In a land
Blessed by the hands of god

When tourist came
We welcome them,
With fist and festivals.
And our daughters
Their wives to be

Our wines we open
For in it we got intoxicated
“Drink and enjoy yourself”
This was our logo.

They were strangers
From the west to the east
They sailed their ship

Our warriors tall and proud
Never blink an eye at night
But stood fearlessly
To protect our mother’s land

In one morning,
Agony walked in the street
Our warriors tied to the ship
Ready to be sailed
Mothers in search of children
But with no avail

Voices, screaming names
Echoing in confusion
But not too long
There was a silence

Pause!

So it was understood
Our warriors were gone
Wives as slaves
Taking away from us
In a blink of a day

“Poor mother Africa
You who ones shine
To end of the world
In just a day
Your people demises”

They were strangers
But as friends, we welcome them
And know they are masters
In 3/5th they counted us

Years has gone by
Since the day they came
And now in freedom
We once again walk

Come!

All you children of Africa
Hear the call of her drum
Feel to the redeem of her beat
And let the blood flows through you

Let us once again
Build a kingdom
In a land blessed by gods
The land of Africa

I speak not as a person
But as a continent

Listen!

Africa speaks.


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